This article gives interesting snippets to the candidates on the African continent. It provides brief information on Geographical location, interesting physical features, climate, vegetation and economic activities carried out in the African continent. Read the article for more information on the interesting facts of Africa.
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Africa – 5 Facts on Geographical Location
- It is located between the latitudes 37° North and 35° South and between the longitudes 50° East and 20° West.
- Africa is the only continent which is traversed by the equator, the Tropic of Capricorn and the Tropic of Cancer.
- The Greenwich Meridian passes through the western part of Africa.
- It is the only continent where the 0° latitude meets the 0° longitudes. These lines meet at the Gulf of Guiana.
- Africa is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea in the north, the Atlantic Ocean in the west, the Indian Ocean in the southeast, the Suez Canal, the Red Sea and the Arabian Sea in the northeast.
Africa – 9 Interesting Physical Features
Africa has many varied physical features like deserts, rift valleys, mountains, plateaus, rivers, and islands.
- The Plateau: Ethiopian Plateau, Tibesti Plateau, and the Abyssinia Plateau
- The Fold Mountains: The Atlas mountains, The Drakensberg and the Great Karoo
- Volcanic mountain: Mount Kilimanjaro
- The Rift Valley: Great rift valley
- Lakes: Lake Victoria Tanganyika, Nyasa or Malawi, and Kivu.
- Deserts: Sahara desert and Kalahari
- Rivers: the Nile, the Congo, the Niger, the Zambezi, Zaire and the Orange
- Waterfall: The Victoria Falls and Stanley Falls
- Islands: Madagascar, Mauritius and Seychelles (Indian Ocean) the Sao Tome and Malabo islands (the Atlantic Ocean)
Africa – Interesting Facts on Climate and Vegetation
Climate – 4 Interesting Facts
- The differences in temperature between day and night are greater than that between winter and summer.
- The Equator, the Tropic of Capricorn and the Tropic of Cancer pass through this continent. So when it is winter in South Africa, it is summer in the North of Africa
- Africa records high temperatures throughout the year as it lies in the tropical zone.
- World’s highest temperature in Al Azyziyah in Lybia has recorded at 58° C
Rainfall – 2 Interesting Facts
- The equatorial forests which are found on both sides of the equator receive high temperatures and daily rainfall.
- In this area, clouds form around noon and heavy rains occur every evening.
Natural Vegetation – 2 Interesting Facts
- The types of vegetation found in the African continent are the equatorial forests, desert vegetation, Savanna grasslands, Mediterranean vegetation, and temperate grasslands
- The trees found in the equatorial forests are mahogany, ironwood, rosewood, oil palm, and rubber.
Africa – Economic Activities
- In Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia cattle and sheep rearing are practised especially the Merino sheep are reared for its quality wool.
- Agriculture is practised only in certain parts of Africa especially in the bank of river Nile
- Food crops like wheat, maize, barley, cotton, groundnuts, and rice are cultivated in large scale
- Coffee, Cloves, Tea, and Cocoa, Dates, Sugarcane, and an assortment of fruits are also grown here.
- The other non-food crops like Cotton, groundnuts, sisal, cocoa, oil palm, coffee, coconut, and fruits are cultivated in Africa.
- World’s major gold reserves are found in the African continent.
- South Africa, Southern Rhodesia, Central African Republic, and Ghana are leading producers of gold.
- Diamond mines are found in Botswana, Zaire, and South Africa.
- Africa is the leading exporter of diamonds.
- Minerals like copper, uranium, and manganese are also found in various parts of Africa.
- Africa has agro-based industries which produce items like sugar, cigarette, wine, and cotton clothes.
- The leather and woollen industries have also flourished in several areas of Africa.
- Heavy industries like the cement industry and the iron and steel industry are mostly located in South Africa and Egypt.
The above details would help candidates prepare for UPSC 2020.